These days, Jason Newsted seems to be having a great time playing cover songs with Jason Newsted and the Chophouse Band. But before that, Newsted was shredding bass in bands like Metallica, Voivod, Flotsam & Jetsam, and even Ozzy Osbourne for a little bit. Now in a recently-surfaced interview with The Florida Daily Post, Newsted reveals he doesn't think he could keep up with any of those bands anymore even if he wanted to.
Newsted talks mostly about Metallica, saying he questioned leaving the band for years after, only to eventually realize it was for the best. Newsted closes by saying he doesn't "have the physicality to do that anymore" in reference to metal, and points out he barely plays shows anymore anyway.
"The surgeries kind of set me back. I kept playing music the best that I could, and I haven't ever been able to come all the way back; I'm, like, 90-something percent full. I can't play the full Metallica stuff; I couldn't do the show anymore like that.
"As the times went by in the earlier years, [I kept asking myself] 'What if? What if? What it? What if? What it you had stayed? What if? What if? — that kind of thing. And everybody — except for maybe my sister, my wife and my dad and my brothers and my mom; they [told me], 'You do you.' They were in it close enough with me. They went to enough shows. They saw enough of the backstage stuff. They saw what took place. And they were, like, 'We get it. You do you. We'll be around for you.' But everybody else, whether they knew me, or they call me Jason anyway because they knew my name, but I didn't know them, there's millions of those people — millions of those people — and they all had something to say about it. 'How in the hell could you do that? You're throwing away tens of millions of dollars? Why would you do that? Why would you step out of the biggest and best band of all time? What are you thinking?'"
"You don't know where I've been. But it took me a while to convince them. So, as I think about that 'What if? What if? What if?', it worked out exactly like it was supposed to. I'm not saying I could have planned it or anything like that. So it took for the years to subside, which is really nice, and now I've got 19 years. I've had a whole other two or three lifetimes since I was in that big thing that provided all of this for me.
"I'll never talk a bad word about anything like that or the guys; they gave me my chance and my life, and I worked as hard as I could. I was always with the fans. Something back here told me I have to spend every minute I can with the people 'cause it's not always gonna be like this. And so I did; that was my thing. They made fun of me for how much time I spent with the fans. Really — they ridiculed me for how much time I spent with the fans. And now I wouldn't change one thing. I had my doubts at a certain time, but now I know.
"The music I'm playing with The Chophouse Band is what I'm able to play. And sometimes it gets vicious, and sometimes it gets nice and ugly, and all that stuff, but I know I can play this forever. This music and the Johnny Cash I can play sitting right here or laying right there or dancing around over there, I can still play music. I know for a fact I cannot play the way that I would want to play in Voivod, Metallica — any of those bands. I don't have the physicality to do that anymore. I only do six shows a year, and I do them right."